A federal corrections officer in Atlanta was pistol-whipped and had his pit bull puppy stolen from him by a man he had picked up earlier that evening. According to local Fox affiliate WAGA TV, the assault and theft took place in the early morning hours of August 29. Police are investigating the matter and believe the suspect may be targeting the trans community in the area, as the victim was wearing a dress at the time of the incident.
“I drove down Peachtree and he was walking down Peachtree,” said the victim, who wished to remain anonymous. “He flagged me down and I pulled over. I thought I knew him, but I didn’t. Then we got into conversation.”
The victim, who works as a federal corrections officer, let the man into his car and then took him to his apartment on the 800 block of Penn Avenue.
While at the apartment, the man excused himself to use the bathroom. A short time later, the man emerged armed with a pistol.
“He came out the bathroom and put the gun to my face and told me to get on the ground,” the victim recalled. “As I was going to the ground, we tussled but then he slung the gun away from me and started hitting me with it.”
Video captured by an indoor security camera shows the suspect pistol-whipping the victim as he was lying prone on the ground. The assault resulted in four facial fractures and seven stitches. At this point, the victim, realizing the severity of the situation and thinking the attacker might kill him, chose to make a run for it.
"I decided if I was going to die then I was going to die,” the victim said. “I got up and I ran towards the door and opened the door. He followed me out.”
While the victim was running to his neighbors for help, the man re-entered the apartment and stole Buddy, the victim’s crated five-month-old pit bull puppy, before fleeing.
The victim had a few choice words for his attacker and puppy thief, saying “the dumbest thing you can do is assault anybody” and suggesting it was even worse to “assault a federal correctional officer.”
“I wish nothing but bad for you,” the victim said. “Nothing but bad and you will get it.”
He went on to say he doesn’t think the incident was the attacker’s first time at all. "I think he is going to do it again. I just hope he’s not dumb enough to do it here again because now I’m ready for him," the victim warned.
The assault and puppy theft is just another in a series of attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in Atlanta in recent month. Joshua Dowd, a gay man, was left in a coma and clinging for his life after he was beaten and left unconscious on railroad tracks in the city last month. In July, Katherine Janness and her dog were stabbed and killed in a popular Atlanta park in late July. Their bodies were discovered by her wife, Emma Clark. The police described the crime scene as “gruesome” and the FBI joined Atlanta police investigating the crime.
Police are asking anyone with information on the suspect who attacked the federal correction as well as any information on the whereabouts of Buddy to call 911 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at (404) 557-TIPS (8477).